BOOK REVIEW: EDGAR ALLAN POE STORIES & POEMS / AUTHOR: EDGAR ALLAN POE / ARTIST: DAVID PLUNKERT / PUBLISHER: ROCKPORT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Anything which collates stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe isn’t going to be negatively received. In fact, it might be a greater challenge to bring together his life works in the most disastrous way possible; typed out in Comic Sans font and dressed in a summer beach house theme, with offered audio readings from the vocal talents of Christopher Biggins.
Another nightmare for another time. For now, we have a new home for Edgar Allan Poe’s timeless work of the haunting and twisted variety. Lovingly produced by illustrator David Plunkert, this book sees Poe’s greatest hits from The Telltale Heart to The Fall of the House of Usher collected and adorned with fresh dastardly visuals to give these classics some extra sting.
They’re pretty fantastic too. Each of the twelve stories in this collection come with one or two suitably dark and trippy page-size illustrations, while the twelve poems are lined with smaller works relevant to each piece. Thankfully neither drown the excellent stories on offer, letting Poe’s magnificent creations take centre stage without becoming bogged by tribute overkill.
The book also has some great minor details. Gothic art laces the edges when closed and every page has a cracked, worn aesthetic underneath the gloss to match the atmosphere of the stories themselves. Everything here simply bleeds with admiration and respect for the man himself.
While some may prefer to own these classic tales in a more ragged frame, this collection is a pristinely crafted introduction to Poe. It doesn’t include all his work, but if you’re looking to spread the gift of madness to an uninitiated friend or family member, this is a brilliant place to start.
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